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NATIONALLY RESPECTED. Academically rigorous. Expert at combining service learning with academic theory. Vincentian. Diverse. Student-focused and approachable. Accomplished at using Chicago—and the world—as a classroom. Well-connected. Flexible.

These are the words that describe DePaul University, the largest Catholic university and one of the ten largest private universities in the nation. DePaul enrolls a richly diverse population of more than 24,000 students in over 250 graduate and undergraduate degree programs in nine college and schools. Its two primary campuses in Lincoln Park and the Loop are complemented by four suburban campuses, a growing array of online degrees and international programs, and partnerships around the globe.

DePaul was founded in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), a Roman Catholic religious community established by Saint Vincent de Paul, a 17th century priest who saw education as a way to lift people out of poverty. DePaul has flourished by providing a high-quality education to a wide range of students, with particular attention to first-generation college students and those from underrepresented groups. Among its many accomplishments, DePaul is recognized as a national leader in enrolling—and graduating—students of color.

A DePaul education is distinguished by blending current theories with practical, hands-on experience in a small-group setting. Despite the university’s size, 89 percent of undergraduate classes have fewer than 40 students. This enables professors to integrate on-site, real-world learning opportunities throughout the student experience, from the Discover Chicago/Explore Chicago program for freshmen through groundbreaking research, advocacy, and service at the graduate level. DePaul’s effectiveness in combining service with learning has been recognized by organizations ranging from “U.S.News and World Report” to “Colleges with a Conscience” and contributed toward it being ranked #1 in the "Great College Town" category by the Princeton Review.

DePaul’s faculty members are renowned for their expertise and the quality of their teaching and research. In fact, the faculty of DePaul’s doctoral programs was recognized as the most productive and distinguished in the nation among universities with fewer than 15 doctoral programs in 2006, according to the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index. Faculty members use their deep connections within Chicago and around the world to keep their courses current and vibrant. Students find them approachable and accessible, a natural outgrowth of their primary focus on teaching. They are organized into nine colleges and schools:

  • The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (LAS) is the oldest college at DePaul, with more than 36 undergraduate majors and 28 graduate programs
  • College of Science and Health (LAS), The College of Science and Health (CSH) was established in 2011 to develop future scientists, engineers, mathematicians, clinicians, researchers and health professionals to meet the demands of the growing fields of science and health.
  • The College of Commerce and the Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, known for its entrepreneurship and real estate expertise as well as its top-ranked part-time MBA program. Its new School for Hospitality Leadership launches in the fall of 2009.
  • The College of Communication, the university's newest college, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in journalism; public relations and advertising; media studies; radio, television and film; relational, group, and organizational communication; and culture and communication
  • The College of Computing and Digital Media, whose graduate computer science school is the largest in the nation.
  • The College of Law, nationally recognized for its programs in health care law and intellectual property
  • The School of Education, recognized for training multicultural urban educators and working closely with the Chicago public schools.
  • The School for New Learning, cited repeatedly as a best-practice program in educating adult students.
  • The School of Music, a premier program whose distinguished faculty includes many members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera.
  • The Theatre School, one of America’s oldest and most respected theatre programs.

In addition, more than 45 centers and institutes further DePaul’s mission of service and education through research and leadership on a wide range of social issues, ranging from inner-city education and community mental health to international human rights and business ethics.

Through its strategic plan, VISION twenty12: The Plan for Academic Enrichment, DePaul intends to become one of the finest urban, Catholic universities of the United States. The plan's central goals are to enrich academic quality, prepare students to be socially responsible future leaders and engaged alumni, be a model of diverity selectively increase enrollment, strengthen our financial position, and further institutionalize DePaul's Vincentian and Catholic identity.

In 2008-09, DePaul awarded more than 5,000 degrees. Its graduates join more than 135,000 living alumni—60,000 in the Chicago metropolitan area alone—who form a vibrant network pursuing careers, service, and lifelong learning. DePaul graduates can be found in all 50 states and in about 70 countries worldwide. Wherever they live, they carry on the traditions of academic excellence and community responsibility that are the heritage of Saint Vincent de Paul.

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